Stroke Rehabilitation: A Complete Approach

Stroke

Stroke occurs when blood flow is lost in the brain. When blood flow is blocked or lost, localized damage occurs. Stroke symptoms vary depending on the severity and location of the damage, but typically may include:

  • Weakness or partial paralysis, usually on one side of the body
  • Speech and swallowing difficulties
  • Trouble with balance, walking and movement 
  • Difficulty grasping and using the affected hand

Stroke symptoms often respond to rehabilitation treatment. A careful therapy plan targeting strength, skill and speech improvement can help bring the stroke victim to the fullest potential of recovery and function.

Overview

Stroke

Rehabilitation combines specialty therapy for a coordinated treatment plan, improving symptoms, overcoming difficulties and increasing independence for stroke patients.

Prevention

Reducing stroke risk

According to the National Stroke Association, up to 80 percent of all strokes are preventable. If you have one or more risk factors, it’s important that you learn about changes you can make to prevent stroke.

Risk factors leading to stroke

According to the American Stroke Association, the risk factors for stroke can be hereditary, while others may result from lifestyle choices. Those risk factors resulting from lifestyle or environment can be changed with the help of a healthcare professional.

Stroke risk factors can be changed, treated or controlled include: hypertension, high cholesterol, smoking, physical inactivity, obesity and diabetes.

Stroke risk factors that can't be changed include: family history, sex, age and race.

Tips to lessen risk: Talk to your doctor for advice on how to:

  • Develop healthy food habits - a lower sodium (salt), lower fat diet
  • Exercise every day
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Stop smoking
  • Find out if you have atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat)
  • Moderate alcohol intake
  • Find out if you have high cholesterol
  • Control your diabetes
  • Prevent circulation problems

Stroke warning signs: Three-step stroke screening

  1. Look for facial asymmetry: Ask the person to smile and look for unevenness in features – a facial “droop” or a lopsided smile – indicating weakness on one side of the body.
  2. Look for arm drift: Have the person raise both arms straight out in front of them and look for one arm to drift down indicating a weakness on that side of the body.
  3. Listen to speech:  Ask the person to repeat something like, “The grass is green.”  Look for slurred, garbled or absent speech or confusion.

Call 911 immediately if you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms.

Treatment

Stroke rehabilitation programs help patients adjust to the mental and physical changes following stroke. With the goal of returning patients to independent living, therapy teams work to retrain the ability to perform daily tasks and move safely at home and in the community.

Why choose our hospital as your stroke recovery center?

Through intensive therapy, our hospital is committed to providing a seamless transition back home for patients recovering from stroke.

Stroke rehabilitation at our hospital includes:

  • Patient and family education
  • Support groups
  • Orthotics
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Neuropsychology
  • Second Chance stroke screenings
  • Rehabilitation technologies 

Support

When a stroke survivor completes rehabilitative care, seeking support can benefit treatment and recovery. Join other stroke survivors as they make the journey back from stroke through the following resources:

The American Stroke Association offers support and information for stroke patients, caregivers and their families. Follow The American Stroke Association’s Stroke Connection magazine on Facebook. 

The National Stroke Association provides information on stroke, stroke prevention, stroke recovery and stroke care. See archived issues of the Stroke Smart magazine.

HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital The Woodlands has earned certification for Disease-Specific Care in stroke rehabilitation becoming the first and only rehabilitation hospital in Montgomery County to achieve this prestigious certification. The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ was awarded to the hospital for its compliance with the organization’s national standards for healthcare quality and safety for stroke rehabilitation.

“We voluntarily pursued The Joint Commission to evaluate our stroke program because we wanted to ensure our quality of care,” said Benjamin Agana, M.D., medical director at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital The Woodlands. “To receive this certification, our hospital has demonstrated compliance with national standards and an effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care for our patients.”

To earn the certification, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital The Woodlands underwent a rigorous on-site survey on July 25th, 2012. A surveyor with expertise in the care of patients with neurological issues from the Joint Commission evaluated the hospital’s stroke rehabilitation program for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients and families, including the provision and quality of care, medical staff, leadership and medication management.

"In achieving Joint Commission certification for Disease-Specific Care in stroke rehabilitation, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital The Woodlands has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients that suffered from a stroke," says Jean Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q. executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and I commend them for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

Studies indicate that 60 percent of stroke survivors can benefit from comprehensive rehabilitation. Eighty percent of patients receiving this level of therapy return to their homes, work, schools or active retirement, according to the National Rehabilitation Caucus. The Joint Commission’s acknowledgement of HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital The Woodlands’ continuum of care for stroke offers patients and families peace of mind in knowing they are getting quality stroke care for maximized results.

About The Joint Commission

The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification Program, launched in 2002, is designed to evaluate clinical programs across the continuum of care. Certification requirements address three core areas: compliance with consensus-based national standards; effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care; and an organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities.

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. The Joint Commission also provides certification of more than 1,700 disease-specific care programs, primary stroke centers, and health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.

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Certification

The Joint Certification

By demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for healthcare quality and safety, our hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission.

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